Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh
unto the Father but by me (John 14:6)
Jesus here says: I am the means of coming to the Father (the way) in that I am the truth and the life.—F. L. Godet.
The three terms lay down the proposition that no other than Christ is the Mediator of eternal salvation with God in the Messianic kingdom, under three several characteristic aspects which are coordinated yet in such a way that the advance is made from the general to the particular.—H. A. W. Meyer.
Note as belonging to all three of these that remarkable: I am. We show a way, Christ is it. We speak truth, Christ is it. Parents impart life, which they have received, Christ is life. He separates himself from all men by that representation that he is not merely the communicator or the teacher or the guide, but that he himself is, in his own personal being, way, truth, life.—Alexander Maclaren.
The way without error, the truth without darkness, the life without end. The way in exile, the truth in counsel, the life in reward. All the words call us to Christ. Post me, per me, ad me, after me, by me, to me. After me, because I am truth; by me, because I am the way; to me, because I am life.—Thomas Adams.
I am the way. This is spiritually spoken of that union of the believer with Christ, which opens a way of approach to God, so that as Christ himself returns to the Father, the believer may follow in his footsteps and attain to the same place of glory and bliss.… Christ opens for all his followers a way to heaven, by the atoning efficacy of his blood. He is therefore figuratively declared to be the way, because he is thus the author of salvation to them that believe in him.—John J. Owen.
God did at the beginning assign us a path to walk in with him, even the path of innocency and exact holiness, in a covenant of works. This path, by sin, is so filled with thorns and briers, so stopped up by curses and wrath, that no flesh living can take one step in that path; a new way for us to walk in must be found out, if ever we think to hold communion with God. It is hid in Christ. All the world cannot, but by and in him, discover a path that a man may walk one step with God.—John Owen.
In the religious language of the Jews, it meant the path which a soul should follow in order to reach the true goal of its destiny; in order to be conformed to the will of God. Thus the Psalmist speaks of the way of the righteous, the right way, the way of God’s statutes, the way of truth, the way wherein I should walk, the perfect way; and the Book of Proverbs of the way of life; and Isaiah of the way of the just, the way of holiness, the way of peace; and Jeremiah of the good way, the one way, the way to Zion, the way which God would show; and Amos of the way of the meek; and Malachi of the way that the forerunner should prepare; and Zacharias of the way of peace into which the Day-star from on high would guide our feet.—H. P. Liddon.
He does not say, “I teach the truth.” All teachers would at least wish to say that. He does not say, “I am the greatest teacher of truth that the world has seen.” That would have been true; but it would have fallen short, almost infinitely short, of the reality. He does say, “I am the Truth.” … His message is bound up indissolubly with his person; nay, he is his own message to the world. His language is intolerable or meaningless unless there exists such a person as he proclaims himself to be, and unless he is that person. In short, Christ is Christianity.—H. P. Liddon.
God himself is the first and only essential Truth, in whose being and nature the springs of all truth do lie. The counsels of God are the next spring and cause of all truth that is so declarative. Of them all the person of Christ is the sacred repository and treasury—in him are they to be learned. All their efficacy and use depend on their relation unto him. He is the centre and circumference of all the lines of truth—that is, which is divine, spiritual, and supernatural. And the beauty of it is presented to us only in his face or person.… So we are said to learn the truth as it is in Jesus (Eph. 4:21). And the knowledge of all evangelical sacred truth is, in the Scripture, most frequently expressed by the knowledge of him (John 8:19; 17:3; 2 Cor. 2:14; 4:5, 6; Eph. 1:16; Phil. 3:8, 19; 1 John 1:1, 2; 2:4, 13; 5:20; 2 Pet. 2:20).—John Owen.
But now where is this truth? I will tell you an apologue. Four friends parting inquired where they should find one another again; the water, the fire, the wind and the truth. Fire said, You shall be sure to find me in a flint stone. Water said, you shall be sure to find me in the root of a bulrush. Wind said, you shall be sure to find me amongst the leaves. But poor truth could appoint no certain place of meeting. What say you to Westminster Hall? Indeed, there is room enough, but small room for truth. What say you to the exchange? There be fair walks, but they may exchange away truth. Is she then in the courts? We behold there always the seat of truth, but not always truth in him that supplies that place. You would smile to find her in children and fools; yet they say, children and fools tell truth. But if it be childhood or folly to tell truth, I am sure we have but a few children, a few fools. Where then shall we find truth? I hope in the church, in the pulpits: oh God forbid else! yet often truth keeps only in the pulpit, and does not go down-stairs with the man, but stays there till his coming up again.… There is no certain place to find truth, but in the word of God; there let us seek her, there we shall find her. Now the God of truth give us the truth of God, in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.—Thomas Adams.
The life which believers derive from God is through Christ. He is that eternal word, by which all things were made on their first creation, and do still subsist. And he is made the basis of the second creation, in a wonderful way, becoming himself a creature; and so, the root of the new progeny is from heaven, the sons of God.… Man is knit to God in the person of Christ so close, that there is no possibility of dividing them anymore.—Bishop Leighton.
Though a man be physically a living man, i.e. his natural soul hath union with his body, yet his soul having no union with Christ, he is theologically a dead man (Luke 15:24; Col. 2:13). Alas, it deserves not the name of life, to have a soul serving only to season and preserve the body a little while from corruption; to carry it up and down the world, and only enable it to eat, and drink, and talk, and laugh and then die. Then do we begin to live, when we begin to have union with Christ, the fountain of life, by his Spirit communicated to us.—John Flavel.
Let us not deceive ourselves. Christ came not to free us from damnation only, but as an head, to infuse spiritual life into us, and to live in us by his Spirit. He came not only to purchase a life of glory for us, but likewise to live in us by his Spirit; and if he overcome for us, he will overcome in us; if he hath a life for us, he will have a life in us. The life Jesus must be manifested in us.—Richard Sibbes.
Christ spans the distance between God and the sinner. Man would fain manufacture a ladder of his own, and by means of his resolutions and reformations, his prayers and his tears, climb up to God. But that is impossible.—A. W. Pink.
There is no choice. You must accept of him, or remain unreconciled and be cast into hell. Israel found but one path through the Red Sea; the church shall never find more than one way to the heavenly Canaan. Christ is the elect and beloved of the Father, the appointed medium of man’s approach, the designated channel of God’s communication.—Christmas Evans.
He is the medium through which intercourse is carried on between heaven and earth. Through him the love of God descends upon us, and through him our prayers, and thanksgiving, and all our holy services, ascend to God. He obtains for us all spiritual blessings. They are granted in consideration of his merit, and in answer to his request; and they are not dispensed immediately by the Father, but pass to us through the hands of his Son. The fountain of Divine love has found a channel, in which it flows to refresh and gladden the souls of the guilty and unworthy.—John Dick.
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